E-Scribe : a programmer’s blog

About Me

PBX I'm Paul Bissex. I build web applications using open source software, especially Django. Started my career doing graphic design for newspapers and magazines in the '90s. Then wrote tech commentary and reviews for Wired, Salon, Chicago Tribune, and others you never heard of. Then I built operations software at a photography school. Then I helped big media serve 40 million pages a day. Then I worked on a translation services API doing millions of dollars of business. Now I'm building the core platform of a global startup accelerator. Feel free to email me.


I co-wrote "Python Web Development with Django". It was the first book to cover the long-awaited Django 1.0. Published by Addison-Wesley and still in print!


Built using Django, served with gunicorn and nginx. The database is SQLite. Hosted on a FreeBSD VPS at Johncompanies.com. Comment-spam protection by Akismet.


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Stuff I Use

Bitbucket, Debian Linux, Django, Emacs, FreeBSD, Git, jQuery, LaunchBar, macOS, Markdown, Mercurial, Python, S3, SQLite, Sublime Text, xmonad

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At least 237138 pieces of comment spam killed since 2008, mostly via Akismet.

New Year's programming resolutions

It's that time of year. In no particular order, here's a quick list of goals for Paul-as-developer in 2007.

So, what about you? What are your coding goals for 2007?

Monday, January 1st, 2007
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0 comments pending approval
Comment from Lawrence Oluyede , later that day

I tried with PyObjC but I couldn't make it work so I gave up. Anyway I chose my 2007 new language and it's Erlang. See my first "tests" at http://www.oluyede.org/blog/category/erlang/

Comment from Ville Säävuori , later that day

PyObjC looks interesting. Maybe I should add it to my list. Don't know what I could possibly do with it, but still =P

But, my goals for 2007 are:

  • Convert my (fairly large, in Finnish) site fully to Django from PHP and static pages.
  • Learn more Python.
  • Contribute to Django somehow.
  • Learn unit testing with Django.
  • Learn (better) the basics of functional programming.
  • Attend to EuroPython ( http://www.europython.org/ )

Hopefully I'll manage to shorten that list at least with one item :)

Comment from Daniel Lindsley , 1 day later
  • Finish our tumblelog (built on Django of course).
  • Build another PyGame application.
  • Add unit testing to all future programs.
  • Expand my knowledge of Javascript so that it's no longer a "last resort".

I have other aspirations but that'll do for now.

Comment from Christopher Arndt , 1 day later

Hey, the last four resolutions sound just like mine!

I always wonder, if it would be worth, if not learn to love, at least learn to program Java properly. At least from a career perspective. But I am now self-employed, so I get to decide which language is used for the projects and that means it will be Python most of the time ;-)

Some of my additional goals:

  • Learn Django by creating some microapp (so I am able to form a well founded opinion whether TurboGears is really better ;-)

  • Write less comments in Blogs and mailing lists and more code ;-)

Comment from Rod Hyde , 1 day later
  • Contribute to an open-source project that uses Python; the most likely candidate is Pyglet as it combines two things I enjoy, namely Python and games.
  • Finish a game during the next PyWeek.
  • Use C# to write a tabbed-notebook app similar to KeyNote.
  • Finally get around to writing that genetically programmed RTS (and then I woke up).
Comment from mike , 2 days later

Do you have considered the just released but very good "D" Programming Language?

It compiles, and is much more worth learning than for example ruby :D

Comment from Paul , 2 days later

Yeah, D looks very cool and it's certainly getting a lot of buzz. If I were a Java, C++, or C# programmer I'd be all over it, and even so I'm more interested in it than any of those three. But my superficial impression is that it's a C-like language which has taken good ideas from dynamic languages -- making it not "different" enough for the mind-stretching aspect of my particular quest.

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